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Travels with Grandma...
Preserving the stories, legends & history of Texas for generations to come...
The Exotic Zoo...Johnson City

Hi! This is Grandma! I’m sorry we missed you last week, but I took a really interesting trip and I want to tell you all about it. This week we’re excited! We had our fist trip sponsors! A great big thank you goes out to our friends Steve and Shelba of Buyer’s Barricades in Fort Worth, and to Marilyn and her staff at The Exotic Zoo Resort. They sponsored our trip!

It was a different sort of trip, but one I am sure you will enjoy. Usually our trips are full of history and things to see. Well, this one is full of things to see, but not so much history. Great Grandma, Sandy and I traveled to a place where all you want to do is sit back, relax and watch the animals go by. It’s called The Exotic Zoo Resort.

It’s simple to get there. Just take Hwy 377 west through Stephenville or Hwy 67 west through Glen Rose to CR220 south through Hico. Either way will take you to Hwy 281 south and straight to the Exotic Zoo.

So pack up your bag, bring some food, clothes and drinks for the weekend, load up, buckle up and we’ll be off…

About 3 hours south on Hwy 281, (one of the prettiest roads in Texas), after you pass the town of Marble Falls you’ll see two giant circus lions on your left. That’s the entrance to the Exotic Zoo Resort. Better perk up back there, wipe the sleep out of your eyes because nothing will prepare you for what you see once we pass through the gate. Sometimes pictures are worth a thousand words, so you will see more pictures this week…

As the sun was beginning to set, we turned in the gate and headed down a long, windy road. It led the way to a land as close to Africa as you will get in these parts. After we drove a way we saw a building and some trailers on our right.

Just past the curve is a fenced in area full of small animals, mostly goats and sheep of all kinds. That’s the petting zoo.

Continuing down the winding gravel road, we stopped in amazement. There were animals every where! Texas’ own white tailed deer and a whole lot of other animals gathered around the road waiting to greet us…miniature deer, camels, lama, buffalo and more, wandering free. The road continued through the countryside and we passed over a cattle guard, through a fenced in area to a perfect little cabin area.

There are only 4 cabins here, so the “crowds” are small. They appear to be close together, but we never head a word from any of the others.

There is also a common area with a pool and outdoor kitchen equipped with everything you need. Every man’s dream is sitting right in the center behind the swimming pool…the biggest bbq pit I’ve ever seen..

It’s like having your own little piece of paradise. Here the people are fenced in and the animals roam free.

We quickly unloaded and headed for the porch. The sun was just setting and some of the animals were coming in closer. We didn’t want to miss any of them.

They were gathering at the fence waiting for us and besides, who would want to miss a sunset as glorious as this one…

 

 

 

We drove into Johnson City for some dinner and on the way back to our cabin had a chance to experience the animals in the night…

See the grey miniature donkey? He is just a baby, but he won’t get any bigger than the white one he’s standing next to. His name is George, well, that is what Sandy calls him.

We spent the rest of the evening sitting on the porch, just visiting, watching the star filled sky and enjoying the cool breezes coming across the hills.

The next morning I was up bright and early. I didn’t want to miss a thing. I know that the animals are going to move after sunrise and before sunset. Like us, they don’t like the heat of the day either and tend to hide…

Who would want to miss this? Grab a cup of coffee, sit back and watch the animals come down out of the hills for their first drink of water at the tank…

Can you see the water buffalo in the background? Believe it or not the one on the left is just a baby.

If you’re up early enough, you might even have a chance to go feed the animals…

 

 


Did you know that kangaroos like Sweet potatoes?


…or that Teddy Bear likes carrots?

We spent the rest of the day just relaxing and watching the animals, except for a short trip into Fredericksburg and a quick stop off at the LBJ National Park. We decided to save those for another trip. We were having too much fun with the animals and didn’t want to miss our tour of the Exotic Zoo.

It was so much fun to ride around in the trailers and watch the animals come running out of the hills, following us. They know when they hear the sound of the tractor coming that snacks are on the way. Have you ever been chased by a llama with a smile on her face? Or see an ostrich flap his wings so close you could count the feathers? Did you ever see animals this close up, or get to feed them from buckets??

I think the best part of the trip for me, probably all of us, was experiencing the miracle of birth when we saw two baby pigmy goats just minutes after they were born, and watch them take their very first steps…

And with that, another day came to an end and all too soon it was time to head for home…

 

 

 

 

Till next time…

Love,
Grandma

Do you have a story to share or a place you would like me to visit? E-mail travelswithgrandma@yahoo.com

To see more pictures visit www.photo.net/photos/Sharon C And go to the “Travels with Grandma” section.

© Story and all pictures are copyright of Sharon L. Curry. No portion of this story or pictures may be reproduced in whole or part without the express written permission of Sharon L. Curry.